Every year around Oscar season a film like this appears as a showcase for a given actor to flex a full range of his or her abilities. And while Paul Giamatti is uniformly terrific in delivering humor, pathos, anguish and, for good measure, a crippling disease as the unpleasantly flawed Barney, the movie doesn't rise to meet him. It's a film full of paper-thin supporting roles and hurried story turns, and Giamatti deserves a better showcase.
Sony Pictures Classics
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